APAC fixed telecom to be bigger than Europe's by 2005

The Asia-Pacific region's fixed-line telecommunications services market will grow by 9 per cent annually over the next five years, to be worth US$208 billion in the year 2005, according to a report from Gartner.

By that time, the Asia-Pacific telecommunications market will be larger than Europe's, and two-thirds the size of the US market, according to Gartner.

Most of the growth will be in Internet and other data services, Gartner said. The total market for fixed-line data services will more than double, from $US26 billion in 2000 to $US59 billion in 2005, with compound annual revenue growth of 18 per cent. The region will see strong growth in ISP (Internet service provider) services and leased lines, even in less-developed parts of the region, according to Gartner.

The voice services market will grow at 6.7 per cent annually over the same period, growing from $US108 billion in 2000 to $US149 billion in 2005. VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services will account for $US27 billion in revenue by 2005, with China becoming the region's largest VoIP market, the researcher said.

Telephony prices will continue to fall as a result of competition, and this will hold circuit-switched telephony revenue flat over the next five years. This effect will see data service revenue overtaking telephony service revenue in regional business centres such as Singapore and Hong Kong by 2005, according to Gartner.

Despite the economic problems in many Asia-Pacific countries, the region will regain its lustre as a major telecommunication market in due course as high growth rates resume, Gartner said.

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